Well, that title’s actually a little misleading. Tommy Hutton is always pointing out basic things, when it comes to “how the game is played.” Basic, in this usage, means that it’s basic to baseball players, not basic to someone like me, who probably knows very little about playing (read: can’t play a lick of) baseball. However, Hutton rarely points out the basics of baseball statistical analysis, instead reverting to the mainstay of average/home runs/RBI’s as the extent of his analysis.
However, in last night’s broadcast, I was surprised and pleased to see Hutton and Rich Waltz praising Dan Uggla for his plate patience. Mainstream guys often get on people for their strikeouts, but Hutton and Waltz more or less refuted that claims that Uggla was having struggling season by pointing out that his OBP was pretty high and that his peripheral game was actually improving. On more than a few occassions those guys have also mentioned Uggla’s bad luck. I’m sure they don’t know how to put it in numerical terms, but they generally know that “things [weren't] falling for him.”
I think it’s a step forward for those two. If they could be more consistent with that sort of insight, which was basic for me and many of you who are reading me but not so much perhaps for the average fan and certainly for most of the mainstream media, it would drastically improve the quality of their broadcast.
Speaking of which, the last few weeks, I’ve been emailing those guys on Email Tuesdays and asking for on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS for the player graphics that they show for each first at-bat. I think asking for a slash line from them isn’t a huge deal, and it isn’t as if I’m asking to take away home runs and RBI’s (much as I’d love to have RBI’s gone). If you guys feel the same way, please email them and ask for slash lines and OPS on the player graphics. It’s not wOBA, but it certainly would help us evaluate players, and it wouldn’t take all that much space! Get on it everyone!